The morning session of the Day 3 of KAM Summit 2021 was power-packed and one of the most interesting panel discussions. 88 Pictures team were talking about the making of Trollhunters Trilogy. Trollhunters is an American computer-animated fantasy television series created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro. 88 Pictures head of animation Manish Kumar, VFX supervisor Prakash D Cunha, FX supervisor Nidell Curham, and animation supervisor Yohesh Rupani were the speakers, while producer and COO Aby John hosted the session.
Reminiscing on how it all started, Manish Kumar mentioned, “Yogesh and I locked ourselves in a room and started thinking about the launch given by the directors. The launch was simple. We had to do a very high-end animation and we started looking at the nuances. Jim was a regular guy with regular issues. The journey that Jim took from being a nobody to becoming the trollhunter, the greatest warrior, was a huge and epic journey by itself.”
Animated content is fun to watch, but quite a great challenge to create. And the main reason is the plot, as coming up with an engaging plot requires creativity, innate talent, and keen attention to details. In animation, rare and unique ideas add life to your characters. Speaking on how did he fix on the tiny details while working on Trollhunters, Yogesh Rupani said, “While Jim struggles with everyday issues, he deals with the reality of being the only child, the reality of doing the home chores; it was important for us to understand the nuances as an animator. Like what should his weight be like, how should he look, where is this guy coming from, what does he eat. The beauty of animation lies in observing the nuances of the characters. It helps in shaping their personality. What sort of emotional state are they in, how do they move?”
“It took us over three years to pull off the trilogy with the talented bunch of lighting and comp artists. Each show had its own look and lighting qualities. We nailed the looks bang on each time!” added Prakash D Cunha. “The FX in this trilogy has evolved over the years. From humble beginnings to path-breaking effects, we have done it all. We did not leave any stone unturned. We did it all to make it awesome and we are very very proud of what we have done,” remarked Nidell Durham.
One of the pillars behind a successful project is apt hiring. Manish Kumar explained how it wasn’t easy for them. He said, “When we hired animators, all of them were from different backgrounds. Some had experience, while the others were inexperienced. The most important thing was to train them so that everyone starts from the same flat level.”
It is important for a good professional animator to come up with a drawing to enable you to quickly and easily figure out the key poses and moves that you wish to develop. Furthermore, in traditional animation, drawing is equally important right from the start to the end of the animation; hence no means of evading it. “Sketching is not to show fantastic sketches. Sketching is important to understand the body mechanics, understand the weight, and anatomy, which goes unsaid,” added Kumar.
“I am really fortunate to be a part of this journey. Animation is the most fun out of all the departments. We are the ones who add life, we make things believable, and we add to the storyline. The amalgamation of all these things is the most fun and satisfying part. The best part of being a part of this franchise is the story itself. It’s the way these characters are inspired. These are built from reality,” gushed Yogesh Rupani proudly.
Trollhunters is probably one of the most enjoyable kids shows. The brilliant masterpiece is full of fun and adventure. The massive hit from DreamWorks and Guillermo Del Toro will blow your mind away and as Aby John rightly mentioned at the beginning of the session, “Trollhunters is by far the highest level show that has ever been done on OTT.”